Top 7 Ways To Fix A Disk Read Error Occurred in Windows 10/8/7

Tracy King updated on Apr 19, 2024 | Home >Computer Instruction

Fix A Disk Read Error Occurred with 7 Solutions in Windows 10/8/7

You will be asked to press the Ctrl+Alt +Del to restart. However, most times, it won't help, and you won't be able to boot your computer correctly. The issue has infected a large number of users in Windows 10/8/7/XP. On this page, we have collected seven ways that said to be the most effective solutions to fix a disk read error occurred

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
1. Back Up Data Without OS Download and Install EaseUS Todo Backup on the working computer. Click Tools...Full steps
2. Check SATA Cables Try a different port for the SATA/SATA M2 cables. If you have more than one HDD...Full steps
3. Run Surface Test Run EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the disk you want to check...Full steps
4. Repair MBR Download and launch EaseUS Partition Master on a new PC...Full steps
5. Other Effective Solutions Run bootrec > Check RAM Memory > Reset or Update BIOS...Full steps

A Disk Read Error Occurred Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to Restart

As a computer user, you may get many errors that prevent you from accessing your hard drive or data. Among them, disk read error is the most frustrating one. When it appears, you will receive the following message: "A disk read error occurred. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart". It is a common error that you can encounter and it indicates that Windows detects a hard disk problem or the process of reading hard disk goes wrong. Restart the computer by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del cannot fix the error and you can still get the same screen. 

a disk read error occurred

Fix 1. Back Up Data Without Boot into Windows (Protect Data)

It would be an easy job to fix the "A disk read error occurred" issue. But the problem is that most users have essential personal stuff on the hard drive. So, they are puzzled about how to protect their files. You know, some troubleshooting steps might do lousy damage to their data and finally result-in irreversible data loss disaster. 

Because of this, we recommend you to back up data first. You can export the data, and try to restore data on another healthy computer. Here is an example of creating a backup without booting into Windows 10/8/7/XP.

To boot into Windows without OS, you need EaseUS Todo Backup with bootable Media. With it, you can back up and export data even when the operating system fails to start or crashes. Download and install EaseUS Todo Backup on a healthy computer and export data without booting into Windows.

Also read: Recover Data from Corrupted Windows OS

Fix 2. Check Hard Disk SATA Cables to Fix a Disk Read Error

Damaged SATA cables can cause "A disk read error occurred" issue. So, try the following tips to fix the error if the above methods don't work.

Step 1. Try a different port for the SATA/SATA M2 cables.

Step 2. If you have more than one HDD, leave only the HDD with Windows installed and test multiple SATA ports and cables.

If there is something wrong, the faulty cables will need to be replaced to fix "A disk read error occurred".

Fix 3. Run Surface Test to Check HDD If Disk Read Error Occurred

If your hard drive has a bad sector, it could cause "a disk read error occurred" issue during the process of computer startup. You can run a professional partition software to check your hard drive for bad sectors. 

To make it, you need EaseUS Partition Master to create a bootable USB flash drive or CD/DVD. Then, restart the computer from the bootable device you just created. Follow the steps to check bad sectors:

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Step 1. Open EaseUS Partition Master. Right-click the disk that you want to check, and then click "Surface Test".

Step 2. The operation will be immediately performed and all bad sectors will be marked as red.

If there is a bad sector, take out the hard drive. Connect the hard drive to a healthy computer and fix the bad sectors.

Fix 4. Repair MBR to Resolve Disk Read Error

If you also meet the "A disk read error occurred" error message, it suggests that BIOS is not the problem. Then try to rebuild MBR  with EaseUS partition software. Follow the steps below:

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Step 1. Create a WinPE bootable disk

  • Launch EaseUS Partition Master, and click "Bootable Media" on the toolbar. Select "Create bootable media".
  • Click "Next" to finish the process.
create a bootable disk

Step 2. Boot EaseUS Partition Master Bootable USB

  • Connect the bootable USB or CD/DVD to your PC. 
  • Press F2 or Del when you restart the computer to enter the BIOS screen. Set and boot your computer from "Removable Devices" or "CD-ROM Drive". And then EaseUS Partition Master will run automatically.

Step 3. Rebuild MBR

  • Click "Toolkit" and choose "Rebuild MBR".

rebuild MBR

  • Select the disk and the type of MBR. Then, click "Rebuild".
rebuild MBR
  • After that, you can see "MBR has been successfully rebuilt on Disk X".
rebuild MBR

Fix 5. Run Bootrec to Fix A Disk Read Error Occurred

If the bootloader installation or configuration comes with some errors, you can also meet "a disk read error occurred press ctrl+alt+del to restart" error.

You could solve this error by following the steps below.

Step 1. Press Win+R to open the Run dialog. Type cmd and click "OK".

Step 2. In the Command Prompt window, type those following commands and press "Enter".

bootrec /fixmbr
bootrec /fixboot
bootrec /rebuildbcd

Step 3. Restart the system and let bootrec repair MBR.

Fix 6. Check RAM Memory to Fix a Disk Read Error Occurred

Sometimes, a read disk error is related to a faulty RAM stick or RAM slot. If you have added new RAM memory to your computer, you can try this way. 

Step 1. Remove the new RAM modules you've recently added.

Step 2. Leave only one single RAM module.

Step 3. Restart the computer.

You can also download a professional RAM test tool - MemTest86 to test your RAM (

Fix 7. Reset or Upgrade BIOS to Fix a Disk Read Error Occurred

You can also try to reset BIOS to fix disk read errors. Some people say resetting your computer BIOS to default or upgrading to the latest version might be able to solve "A disk read error occurred" in Windows XP/7/8/10. Follow the steps below to reset BIOS:

Step 1. Restart the computer

Step 2. Press F2, F8, F12, Esc or Del to boot into BIOS

Step 3. Find the option to reset BIOS to default.

reset BIOS to fix disk read error

The option name varies depending on different computer manufacturers and BIOS versions, which can be "Load BIOS Defaults", "Load Setup Defaults", "Load Default Settings", "Load Fail-Safe Defaults", or "Get Default Values". 


These practical solutions may have got you out of your Disk Read error. When a hard drive fails or gets severely corrupt, you need to replace the hard drive. You can turn to EaseUS disk management tool to upgrade to a larger hard drive.

A Disk Read Error Occurred in Windows 10/8/7 FAQs

You have learned the seven ways to troubleshoot a disk read error. If you still have problems, you can read these topics below.

How do I fix a disk read error?

There are seven ways to fix a disk read error:

Can external hard disk be repaired?

Yes, you can. As long as the external hard drive is not physically damaged, you can repair bad sectors or other external hard drive issues with ease.

How do I fix a corrupted external hard drive?

To Repair Corrupted External Hard Drive:

  • Restore Corrupted File System
  • Recover Data
  • Repair Corrupted External Drive
  • Repair External Drive without Formatting

Was This Page Helpful?


Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working at EaseUS for over ten years, starting as a technical writer and moving on to being a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over ten years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

Read full bio

Written by Tracy King

Tracy became a member of the EaseUS content team in 2013. Being a technical writer for over 10 years, she is enthusiastic about sharing tips to assist readers in resolving complex issues in disk management, file transfer, PC & Mac performance optimization, etc., like an expert.

Read full bio

Totalav antivirus software

EaseUS Data Recovery Services

Request a free evaluation >>

EaseUS data recovery experts have uneaqualed expertise to repair disks/systems and salvage data from all devices like RAID, HDD, SSD, USB, etc.